For those of you too young to remember Toni, it was a hair care line with the premier product being the Toni Home Permanent. For years the company had an ad campaign in which identical twins tried to fool you as you guessed, “Which twin had the Toni?”
This 1961 booklet from Toni doesn’t feature twins, but it does have the reining Miss America, Nancy Anne Fleming. In the early 1960s, the Miss America contest was a very big deal, so it must have been an advertising coup for Toni to have her represent their products. But it’s not just Toni. As you can see, McCall’s Patterns and Everglaze Fabrics teamed up for this interesting campaign.
The pattern and sewing machine companies must have been really excited about Fleming being chosen Miss America. In one of the most original talent presentations ever, Fleming took a rack of clothes she had sewn herself onto the stage, and did a little fashion presentation. It was like a commercial for home sewing.
And the promotion of sewing by Fleming didn’t stop after she won the coveted crown. In this booklet, she not only talks about sewing, but also models a collection of eight designs that McCall’s called the Miss America Collection. Each design was made of Everglaze fabrics, and a new hairdo was designed for each outfit, complete with roller setting instructions.
Some of the outfits and the hair styles are too old for a nineteen-year-old, but others, like the two above show just how youthful early 60s fashion could be.
Do they still refer to Miss America as a “queen” or has that fallen by the wayside?
It’s possible that this booklet was included in specially marked packages of Toni. In the back there is a coupon for a free pattern from the collection, along with a reminder that “Everglaze fabrics are among America’s favorite cottons.”
After her reign was over and she crowned the 1962 Miss America, Maria Fletcher of Asheville, Fleming used her scholarship to attend Michigan State, where she graduated in 1965. She was married, had two kids and a career in broadcasting. She was on an episode of the Love Boat in the 1980s, and married for a second time to Jim Lange, the longtime host of The Dating Game. Today she lives in California. I wonder if she still sews.